Leon Osborne admitted “his heart sank” when he found out Peter Taylor used to play the same position.

Osborne is too young to remember Taylor from his days on the wing for Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

But after the initial shock of discovering that he shared a similar role with the new boss, the 20-year-old quickly realised it would be a huge positive.

Osborne said: “When the gaffer told me he was a left-sided right footer, my heart sank a little bit at first. I was thinking ‘here’s a bit more pressure on me’.

“I’ve not seen any footage of him playing but he said himself he was quite good. I took his word for it!

“But I think it’s a good thing because he can help me out a lot more. He really wants to help me with my positional sense and knowing the role.

“We’re used to having a lot more defensive coaches, so knowing he played as a forward in my position is a boost for me personally. I can play in a few different positions but that’s where he’d like me.

“And knowing the players he’s worked with for the likes of England, it’s unreal that someone like that can now have a massive influence on you.

“We’ve had a few one-on-one chats and he seems quite pleased with me, so hopefully I can prove myself over the remaining games.”

Osborne played nearly a half at Bournemouth last week, although he remained on the bench in the Macclesfield defeat. But two goals for the reserves in front of Taylor on Tuesday night won’t have done his chances of featuring at Burton on Saturday any harm.

As yet another player whose contract is up in the summer, Osborne needs to take every opportunity to shine. But it is a scenario he is well familiar with.

He said: “I’ve always been on a year’s contract or a half-year like last season. I’m used to that sort of pressure, so hopefully I can deal with it a little bit better.

“I’d be more than happy to stay here again but obviously it’s down to the gaffer. The ball is in the club’s court.

“Everyone’s going to have their own opinion but I’m hoping he sees me a little bit different and thinks I can be more of a threat going forward.”

Doncaster-born Osborne is still waiting for his big breakthrough at Valley Parade. He hoped this season would be it but two spells out with ankle injuries killed the momentum – most significantly in January at a time when City were short on forwards.

Now he is desperate to make his mark before time is up. Osborne said: “I’m nearly 21 and I like to think of myself as a proper player rather than always talking about potential.

“This year hasn’t gone according to plan because of the knock-backs with the injuries but I’ve always had positive feedback and that’s managed to keep me going this far.

“With us not going up or down, hopefully the chance may be there to get a couple of starts. That’s the aim now, to play as often as I can – with no more injuries.”